Access has been given a statement from the Greater London Authority (GLA), responding to allegations from Labour’s Fiona Twycross over ticket touting at last week’s NYE fireworks.
The annual firework celebrations, which went unsponsored this year, were ticketed for the first time in the event’s history.
In an essay posted on the Left Foot Forward political blog, Labour London Assembly Member Twycross argued that the Mayor of London had privatised the annual fireworks event by implementing a new ticketing system.
Paid-for ticketing was introduced this year in an effort to increase safety standards at the event.
After a record 500,000 people turned up for last year’s event, organisers decided to limit attendees to 100,000 – with each ticket costing £10. That price was said to have paid only for the implementation of the new ticketing system.
In her post, Twycross alleged that ticket touting had caused ticket prices to rise on eBay to more than £200 in some cases.
“[Boris Johnson’s] decision to introduce ticketing of the NYE fireworks has been done so poorly it risks turning the event into a ticket tout’s dream,” Twycross wrote on 31 December. “This year tickets are restricted to just 100,000; those without a ticket won’t be allowed into the main viewing areas.
“The official £10 tickets are sold out and some ticket resale sites are taking advantage of the unmet demand and advertising tickets at up to £200 each.”
Official tickets were limited to four per person, in an effort by the Greater London Authority to reduce reselling. An ID matched to the name on the ticket was also required for entry into the event.
A GLA spokesperson told Access today (5 January) that “there is no legislation in place to halt [reselling] completely and it is disappointing that some wanted to profiteer from the event, resulting in others missing out.”
You can read Twycross’ full blog post at Left Foot Forward.